Instagram has had enough of users who send abusive and harassing private messages through its platform and is back with a strong warning for anyone who continues to do this. In an update on additional steps it is taking to reduce abuse, Instagram warned that it will be issuing ‘stricter penalties’ going forward.
According to Instagram, users who break the platform’s rules in DMs repeatedly will have their account disabled. This is a more severe step over the previous penalty, which involves disabling the offending user from sending additional messages for the restricted period of time.
A user who has their account disabled for this reason won’t be able to make a new account in an effort to get around the penalty. Beyond that, Instagram also says that it will cooperate with UK law enforcement when it comes to requests for legal data in cases of hate speech.
Instagram notes that its policy on hate speech covers abusive comments and posts ‘based on […] protected characteristics,’ including content like blackface that falls in the hate speech category. According to the company, it addressed 6.5 million instances of hate speech from July to September 2020, 95-percent of which was found before it could be reported by users.
Instagram likewise notes that its proactive AI-based warnings when someone is about to post something unacceptable have helped reduce abusive content. As well, the comment filters users have access to have also helped protect the platform from this type of content. Everyone will soon get access to the feature that lets them disable DMs from people they don’t follow.